|Pentecost 2, year A||June 22, 2014||Second Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 7, Year A||Psalm 69:8-20, Romans 6:1b-11, Matthew 10:24-39|
|Trinity Sunday, Year A||June 15, 2014||Trinity Sunday, Year A||Genesis 1:1-2:4a, 2 Corinthians 13:11-13, Matthew 28:16-20|
|Pentecost, Year A||June 8, 2014||The Day of Pentecost, Year A||Acts 2:1-21, I Corinthians 12:3b-13, John 20:1-23|
|Easter 7, Ascension Sunday, year A||June 1, 2014||Seventh Sunday of Easter||Acts 1:6-14|
|Easter 6, year A||May 25, 2014||Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year A 2014||Acts 17:22-31, John 14: 15-21|
|Easter 5, year A||May 18, 2014||Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year A||1 Peter 2:2-10, John 14:1-14|
|Easter 4, year A||May 11, 2014||Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year A||John 10:1-10, Acts 2:42-47, I Peter 2: 19-25, Psalm 23|
|Easter 3, year A||May 4, 2014||Easter 3, Year A||Luke 24:13-35|
|Easter 3, year A – Shrine Mont||May 4, 2014||Third Sunday of Easter, Year A||Luke 24: 13-35|
|➤Easter 2, year A||April 27, 2014||Second Sunday of Easter, Year A||John 20:19-31, Psalm 16|
|Easter||April 20, 2014||Easter Day, Year A||Jeremiah 31:1-6, Matthew 28:1-10|
|Good Friday||April 18, 2014||Good Friday, Year A||The Passion according to John|
|Palm Sunday 2014 reflections||April 13, 2014||Palm Sunday, year A||Matthew 26:14- 27:66|
|Fifth Sunday in Lent||April 6, 2014||Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year A 2014||Ezekiel 37:1-14, Romans 8:6-11, John 11:1-45, Psalm 130|
|Fourth Sunday in Lent||March 30, 2014||The Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year A||Ephesians 5:8-14|
Easter 2, year A
Sermon Date:April 27, 2014
Scripture: John 20:19-31, Psalm 16
Liturgy Calendar: Second Sunday of Easter, Year A
"The Incredulity of Thomas" – Duccio, di Buoninsegna (1308-11)
“As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
Jesus is here among us, and these are the words that he has for us today, because we are the disciples who have gathered here after the news of the resurrection, wondering what’s next for us.
And as Jesus has told us throughout his ministry—God has sent Jesus here to be light, to be bread, to be a door, to be a Good Shepherd, to be resurrection, to be the way, the truth and the life, and to be the true vine in our midst.
To be the kingdom of God, visible and full of life here on earth.
“And now, disciples,” says Jesus, “I’m sending you to be the kingdom of God, visible and full of life here on earth.”
I’m sending you to be light, bread, doorways, shepherds, to show the way, to tell the truth, to be life in the world.
This list of what we get to be as disciples is pretty intimidating.
So intimidating, in fact, that we may not want to try at all to be disciples sent into the world bearing the kingdom of God in our hands and holding it out to others.
Easier to gather in this beautiful and sacred space each Sunday, praise the Lord, and go home, our eyes squeezed shut, trying to hold in the light we saw, and our hands clutched so tight around the bread of heaven that we’re reluctant to hold it out to anyone else.
Jesus knows all about us. After all, he shared our human nature, and lived and died as one of us.
And Jesus knows that we are no more able to carry the kingdom of God out into the world than the first disciples were.
And so today, here in our midst, he gives to us the help he gave to that first gathering of disciples after the resurrection, locked away in a room because they feared for their lives.
First of all, Jesus gives us his peace. His first words to us are
“Peace be with you.” This peace is so important that Jesus gives it to us twice. “Peace be with you. Peace be with you.”
God’s peace. This is the peace that permeates our very beings, and even when chaos reigns around us, we can reach into our inmost being, and touch the peace that Jesus has given us. This peace is a centered calmness that binds us together while everything else may be crumbling around us.
This peace results in a deep down feeling of joy, even when our lives are full of struggle. It’s the peace that means that we even can go down to the grave saying “Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.”
And Jesus, just as he had promised the disciples before he died, gives to us here today the Holy Spirit. Jesus breathes the Holy Spirit into us. This is the same breath that blew over the deep at the beginning of time, the same breath that God blew into the lifeless clay that was to become Adam, the same breath that blew through a valley full of dry bones and brought the nation of Israel back to life.
The Holy Spirit is God’s breath within us. The joy of knowing God takes our ordinary breath away, and we find that in the place of that ordinary breath is God’s love, the breath and joy of God’s kingdom that becomes tangible when we breathe God’s love into the world.
Frequently, we find ourselves breathless, but God graciously and regularly resuscitates us when we find ourselves forgetting to breathe.
The third thing that Jesus gives us is his hands. He shows us his hands and his side. And yes, one reason we must see these still visible wounds is so that we know that Jesus is indeed with us, and not some imposter.
But even more importantly, Jesus shows us these wounded hands because Jesus points the way to the kingdom with these hands—hands that have touched and healed, and forgiven and cast out demons, hands that have grappled with the evil that stands in the way of the kingdom and have been wounded in the process.
And with these wounded hands, Jesus shows us the way to go—to the hurting, broken, and sometimes downright dirty places around us that are truly in need of healing, forgiving, strong kingdom hands that are willing to grapple with all that isn’t the kingdom, and to be wounded in the process.
To have these hands, we disciples have to be willing to lay down the addictions in our lives that we clutch so tightly—and instead to put our hands in the nail scarred hand, as that old Baptist hymn goes. That way, Jesus can lead us where he wants us to go, and we can open our hands to those who need our helping hands.
Imagine that! An infinite chain of helping hands reaching out with God’s love to hands held out in need!
Jesus, our Risen Lord, is standing before us—and he brings with him peace, the breath of the Holy Spirit, and his outstretched hands.
And he says to us, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
Are you ready to go?